According to research conducted by the Overseas Development Institute, children in Dhaka slums as young as 6 years old are employed full time, earning less than $2 a day. These children work with toxic industrial chemicals, exposing their young, developing bodies to asbestos, bitumen, and heavy metals like chromium. The health-related side effects of these working conditions are immense. Many laborers experience growth deficits, hormonal imbalances, and permanently damaging physical injuries. Child labor robs children of the livelihood of their youth, prompting them to mature and harden to deal with the difficulty of their living conditions. It is essentially a sentence to a lifetime of poverty.
It is difficult to break the cycle of child labor. Many parents depend on the minimal income their children make to sustain the household. As a result, these young individuals are prevented from pursuing an education. They are barred from ever transcending the strong grasp of poverty. The continuation of child labor in South Asian countries like Bangladesh is facilitated by the existence of the concept as a social norm, as well as a lack of public welfare infrastructure, and poverty mitigation strategies.